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Athlon breaks down each and every team's schedule for the 2013 NFL season
The Jacksonville Jaguars won just two games last season, the fewest in franchise history. How many victories can rookie head coach Gus Bradley lead this team to this fall? Here's our look at the Jaguars' 2013 NFL schedule.
Jacksonville Jaguars 2013 Schedule:
Week 1: Kansas City
Week 2: at Oakland
Week 3: at Seattle
Week 4: Indianapolis
Week 5: at St. Louis
Week 6: at Denver
Week 7: San Diego
Week 8: San Francisco (London)
Week 9: BYE
Week 10: at Tennessee
Week 11: Arizona
Week 12: at Houston
Week 13: at Cleveland
Week 14: Houston (Thurs.)
Week 15: Buffalo
Week 16: Tennessee
Week 17: at Indianapolis
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Out of the Gate: Based on Jacksonville's 2-14 showing last season, ongoing quarterback issues and the fact there is a new coaching staff in charge, wins figure to be at a premium for the Jaguars in 2013. That said, the opportunity exists for the new regime to start things on a positive note with Kansas City and Oakland on tap the first two weeks. Like the Jags, the Chiefs are under new leadership with Andy Reid taking over, so the best time to get them may be in Week 1. The Raiders have just as many issues as the Jaguars, so this may be a fairly even matchup with the loser taking the lead in the sweepstakes for the No. 1 overall pick of the 2014 NFL Draft. After that, however, the honeymoon is clearly over for Jacksonville first-year head coach Gus Bradley and company with a road trip to Seattle and a visit from Indianapolis to close out September.
Toughest Stretch: Most games figure to be an uphill battle for a team like the Jaguars, but October in particular looks like it will be a long month for this team. Two road games to start things off, one at St. Louis and the other in Denver against Peyton Manning and the Broncos' explosive offense. The next two are "home" games, if you call playing across the pond home. Jacksonville will host San Diego at EverBank Stadium before flying across the Atlantic Ocean to play San Francisco in the second of two NFL games in London's Wembley Stadium this season. The Jaguars are technically the home team, but that matters little when you are playing thousands of miles away from your normal base of operations. The best part of October for Jacksonville may very well end up being the bye week that follows the Jags' international business trip to England.
|Swing Games:||at CLE (Week 13), BUF (Week 15)|
|Crossover Divisions:||AFC West, NFC West|
|Bye Week:||Week 9|
|Opp. 2012 W/L %:||.508 (T-12th)|
|Athlon's SOS Rank:||12th|
Easiest Stretch: Easy is a relative term when it comes to the Jaguars. The only team that won as few games as Jacksonville did last season was Kansas City, the Jags' Week 1 opponent at home. That and the following game against Oakland are one of two home double-dips on the schedule that could present the best chance for victories for Bradley and his team. The other pair of potentially winnable home games is near the end of the season when the Jaguars host the Bills and the Titans on consecutive Sundays.
Circle The Calendar: The two most important games on Jacksonville's schedule just may be the opening two, but for different reasons. The opener with Kansas City at home presents Bradley the golden opportunity of not only winning his first game as an NFL head coach, but to give a lethargic fan base something to get excited about. A Week 2 visit from Oakland could be significant in that a victory would mean either a 1-1 or 2-0 start for the Jaguars, while the loser becomes the early frontrunner for the "winner" of the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. The Week 8 matchup with San Francisco doesn't figure to be all that competitive, but it will be "special" because it will be played in London's Wembley Stadium. This also will be the first of Jacksonville's four consecutive visits to England, so if anything maybe the Jags can lay the ground work to become Europe's team.
Divisional Notes: The Jaguars host Indianapolis in Week 4 and don't play another AFC South opponent prior to their Week 9 bye. More than half of Jacksonville's final eight games are divisional affairs, including three of its final four. The Jags have the misfortune of playing the Texans twice in a three-week span, with a road game at Cleveland sandwiched in between. Jacksonville's season also ends with a double-dip of divisional action, a Week 16 home game against the Titans and the finale at the Colts. Don't forget, both of the Jags' wins last season were against divisional opponents – a Week 3 win at Indianapolis and a Week 12 victory against Tennessee.
Playoff Push: Let's be realistic, the chances of Jacksonville contending for a playoff spot this season are remote at best. That said, the Jaguars do appear to have some winnable games in December and also could impact the AFC playoff race for other teams. Jacksonville opens the final month of the season in Cleveland, a team similar to the Jags in that the Browns have a new head coach and a great running back (Trent Richardson), but questions when it comes to quarterback and the passing game as a whole. Houston is next on tap the following Thursday, the only game Jacksonville plays all season that's not on Sunday. That's the first of three divisional games the Jags play in December with the Titans (home) and Colts (away) on the docket in Weeks 16 and 17. The other December game is a Week 15 visit from Buffalo, which was 6-10 in 2012 and has a rookie NFL head coach in '13. Finishing with no worse than two wins in December would be a nice way to end Bradley's first season in charge and give the Jaguars something to build on in the offseason.
Fantasy Playoff Run (Weeks 14-16): Is Maurice Jones-Drew back? His fantasy owners hope so, especially for the playoffs. Once he gets past Houston, which was seventh in rushing defense last season and allowed the fewest fantasy to RBs, MJD has Buffalo and Tennessee in his sights. Only one team in the NFL last season surrendered more fantasy points to backs than the Bills and Titans (New Orleans).
2013 Athlon Sports NFL team-by-team schedule analysis:
|AFC East||AFC North||AFC South||AFC West|
|Miami (6/25)||Cincinnati||Indianapolis||Kansas City (6/24)|
|New England (6/26)||Cleveland||Jacksonville||Oakland (6/28)|
|NY Jets (6/27)||Pittsburgh (7/1)||Tennessee (7/3)||San Diego (7/2)|
|NFC East||NFC North||NFC South||NFC West|
|NY Giants (6/25)||Detroit||Carolina||St. Louis (6/27)|
|Philadelphia (6/26)||Green Bay||New Orleans (6/24)||San Francisco (6/28)|
|Washington (7/3)||Minnesota||Tampa Bay (7/2)||Seattle (7/1)|
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